Jurors in the trial of former Paul Manafort have reached a verdict on eight of the 18 counts against the former Trump aide. After a day of passing notes to the Judge, they said they were unable to reach a decision on the other 10.
Manafort was found guilty on all five tax fraud counts, while the other three are related to his failure to disclose foreign bank accounts and bank fraud.
The verdict comes at the end of two and a half weeks of testimony, which included 27 witnesses and 88 documents submitted into evidence. Earlier, the jury asked Judge T.S. Ellis earlier in the day what would happen if they couldn’t reach a verdict on a count, and Ellis told them to keep working on it.
“If we cannot come to a consensus for a single count, how can we fill in the verdict sheet?” the jurors asked in the note.
“It is your duty to agree upon a verdict if you can do so,” said Ellis, who encouraged each juror to make their own decisions on each count. If some were in the minority on a decision, however, they could think about the other jurors’ conclusions.
Give “deference” to each other and “listen to each others’ arguments,” said Ellis, adding “You’re the exclusive judges … Take all the time which you feel is necessary.”
Manafort stands accused of 18 counts of tax evasion, bank fraud and obfuscating foreign bank counts in the first trial brought against him by special counsel Robert Mueller as part of his investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election – despite the charges stemming from his work for the then-Ukrainian governing party.